Dark Chocolate Pistachio Gelato Tartufo

Until last week I had never heard of Tartufo. Was I ever missing out…..Dark Chocolate Pistachio Gelato Tartufo is now on my, I will be making this again, and again, and again list!

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Gelato Tartufo

Delizioso doesn’t begin to describe this incredible dessert. Tartufo is an Italian ice-cream dessert originating from Pizzo, Calabria. It’s normally two or more flavors of ice cream, with either fruit syrup or frozen fruit — typically raspberry, strawberry or cherry — in the center. Its then covered in a shell made of chocolate or cocoa, but cinnamon or nuts can also be used.

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Gelato Tartufo

So, I looked this up on Wikipedia and the Tartufo di Pizzo ice cream was invented in 1952 when a relative of King Victor Emannuel II came to Pizzo in honour of the celebration of an aristocratic marriage. For this occasion many guests were invited for an elaborate dinner. Unfortunately the hosts did not have enough cups to serve the guests the ice cream dessert, but a clever pastry maker named Don Pippo de Maria came up with a creative solution.

He invented an ice cream that did not need a cup but instead could be served on a plate. He put a small portion of hazel and a small amount of chocolate ice cream in the palm of his hand, poured over some melted chocolate and then wrapped everything up in special paper to mould it. Wrapping them up like little presents, he put the ice cream parcels back in the freezer before serving them to his guests.

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Gelato Tartufo

Don Pippo’s invention earned him immediate fame. After the aristocratic wedding Don Pippo went back to his ice cream parlour which exists to this day. A former waiter of Don Pippo named Giorgio di Iorgi took over Bar Dante in 1964. It is still there on the central piazza in Pizzo and serves the famous Tartufo ice cream according to the secret recipe of Don Pippo.
Since then Tartufo di Pizzo ice cream has become legendary. The original recipe is kept under strict guard by the De Maria descendants.

I’m sure that this recipe is not the secret recipe, but it was damn good. Looking at several recipes on Pinterest, my first choice was to forgo traditional ice cream and go with gelato….excellent choice if do say so myself.

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Gelato Tartufo

Tim and I LOVE gelato. Whats the difference between ice cream and gelato you ask? Well so did I, it come down to three things…. fat, air, and temperature. Gelato has less fat and less air churned in and gelato is served at a warmer temperature. If this is the case then, with less fat gelato is good for you right??

Alright, I can’t go there but, for a special occasion, this dessert would be hard to beat. Plus, although it looks elegant and amazing and like it would be complicated to make…….it couldn’t be easier!

Line a glass bowl with plastic wrap. Chose your two favorite flavors of gelato. Layer them in the plastic lined bowl and freeze. Easy right. At this point (before you freeze it) you can place the fruit in the center if you are using it, I did not use it, just a personal choice.

Oreo cookies, I had Tim get me a six pack of them from the gas station….real elegant huh? It was the perfect amount for the base of the tartufo. Crushed in a mini food processor and a teaspoon of coconut oil added, it’s pressed on the gelato, then back into the freezer.

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Gelato Tartufo

Removing the tartufo from the bowl was the only slightly challenging part, but a warm towel place over the inverted bowl (a couple of times) and out it came.

Melted chocolate poured over the top makes a hard glaze, that when you break it open reveals all that gelatoy goodness. It needed another few minutes in the freezer to harden the chocolate. Then decorate how ever you fancy. I chose a white chocolate drizzle, some raspberries, and extra pistachios …….sweet and salty. A sprig of mint just to add the extra fancy!

Dark Chocolate Pistachio Gelato Tartufo

When a special dessert is in order……Valentines Day is just around the corner, you can make Dark Chocolate Pistachio Gelato Tartufo and have an amazing dessert that only looks fancy and is truly Delizioso!!

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Dark Chocolate Pistachio Gelato Tartufo

  • Author: Marty Boyd
  • Yield: 2 1x


  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate gelato
  • 3/4 cup pistachio gelato
  • 6 Oreo cookies, finely crushed
  • 1 teaspoons coconut oil, melted
  • 110 ounce package Ghirardelli Dark Melting wafers
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips, melted
  • Pistachios, raspberries, and mint for garnish


  1. Line a small glass bowl (I used a square shaped bowl with a 2 cup capacity) with plastic wrap, leaving a 3-4-inch overhang on all sides.
  2. Pack chocolate gelato into the lined bowl, pressing up the side and covering the bottom. Place pistachio gelato into the chocolate in the bowl filling the bowl creating layered effect. Fold wrap over to seal the bowl and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours and preferably overnight.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together cookie crumbs and the coconut oil. Fold back plastic and press crumb mixture onto gelato. Rewrap and freeze at least 15 minutes.
  4. Melt the dark chocolate wafers according to package directions.
  5. Fold back plastic from gelato. Invert bowl onto a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Using a hot dish towel wipe the outside of the bowl to loosen the contents. You may have to repeat this process several time. Lift bowl and completely remove plastic.
  6. Pour melted chocolate over top, starting in center and working outward, don’t worry if it isn’t perfect, once its decorated any imperfections will seem to disappear.
  7. Freeze tartufo on rack to harden, at least 5 minutes.
  8. Melt white chocolate according to package directions and place in a ziplock bag. Remove tartufo from freezer. Snip off a tiny corner of the ziplock bag and garnish the top of the tartufo. Place on a decorative plate and use chopped pistachios, raspberries, and mint to finish garnishing your tartufo and serve.


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